In my opinion, Looking for Alaska is the best John Green book I’ve read. The novel follows Miles Halter (who’s a scholar in famous last words) finding his place at Culver Creek Prep High School and forms an unlikely friendship with Chip (the Colonel), Takumi, Lara and the mysterious Alaska who becomes the centre of Miles’ life. But she’s in a passionate relationship, though that doesn’t stop Miles from idolising her.
Miles becomes entangled with a series of pranks which his new friends have a talent for and through these adventures, Miles changes and finds he can be cool and nerdy at the same time. But the more he grows, the more elusive Alaska becomes and eventually she meets a tragedy.
It’s through this tragedy that Miles finally reaches a turning point in his life and along with the others, he goes on a quest to look for Alaska, to understand her.
There’s several memorable quotes from Looking for Alaska including “How will I ever get out of this labyrinth?” that make you think deeply. The characterisation is on point but they remind me of other John Green characters – however, Alaska is quite interesting and I love the suspenseful unveiling of who she is and the idea that you don’t really know a person until…they’re dead but even then, you’re left with unsolved mysteries about that person. I was impressed with the book’s detail on death affecting loved ones. From feeling emotional to contemplating “what ifs” and theories on why or what was going through the dead person’s head at the time of their final moments. Although there were times where I was annoyed with Miles’ growing hatred and anger towards the dead person, I understood how one would feel. I can imagine getting upset and blame the dead for abandoning me too.
The sexual content and profanity in the book (which people have raged about) didn’t bother me. This book centres on teens and read by young adults/teens who are aware of everything and growing up.